4 Ways to Get Unstuck In Your Job Search

  • Article by: KEVIN DONLIN , Star Tribune Sales and Marketing
  • Updated: November 24, 2008 - 11:35 AM

If you've been looking for a job for any length of time, you’ve probably run into roadblocks. Weeks go by with no job interviews. Employers don't call. And you start to feel … stuck. Where can you turn for new ideas to get “unstuck” in your job search?

I suggest you try "funnel vision."

As explained to me years ago by marketing master Jay Abraham, funnel vision is the opposite of tunnel vision. It’s a way of looking beyond your current situation for new ideas, then adapting them to create breakthroughs.

Funnel vision is how Velcro was invented -- those tiny hooks that hold clothing together were adapted from cockleburr seeds in nature.

Funnel vision is how drive-up windows came to fast-food restaurants -- before McDonald’s installed their first one in 1975, drive-up service had been used at banks since 1928.

To illustrate funnel vision for your job search, I'm going to adapt four ideas from a terrific article on blogging at Typepad.com, called “10 Ways to Find New Blog Topics” (www.typepad.com/tips/blog-topics-tips.html).

See? We’re already adapting -- from blogging to job hunting.

Here we go ...

1. Read the comments on career blogs for new ideas
Some of the smartest job search ideas come from ... smart job seekers.

Where can you find them? Oftentimes these people share their success stories by posting helpful comments on blogs that deal with career and job-search topics.

So, to generate new ideas for your job search, check out the comments posted on high-traffic blogs. Many of the most popular are found at this link - http://career.alltop.com.

2. Review your greatest hits
I'll break this idea down into two parts.

First, look back over your career. How did you find out about every job you’ve had since you left school? Examples: You networked with a professor in 1988, networked with a neighbor in 1992, answered a want ad in 1994, called a recruiter in 2001, etc.

Now ask yourself: How could I repeat that or do something similar to it?

You may not find as many jobs listed in the Sunday paper today compared to 1994, for example, but what about the online edition of the newspaper? Or what about looking through an industry newsletter or magazine that serves a narrow niche? Trade publications can be a terrific source of job leads -- call your local library and ask for help finding them.

Second, what did you do and say to get hired for previous jobs? What's the best cover letter you ever sent? What's the best line in your last resume? The best answer you ever gave in a job interview?

Now ask yourself: How could I repeat those successes in my current job search?

3. Do something different
To get different ideas, you have to start with different thoughts.

Example: How would you get a "job" on American Idol? Send a resume? No, you'd audition. And before your audition, you'd practice like mad.

So, ask yourself this: Where and how could I "audition" for a job? Whom would I have to contact to get an audition? And what skills would I have to practice beforehand?

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